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Nihilism

MARS HILL AUDIO Conversation 31

Unbearable Lightness: R. J. Snell on Acedia and Metaphysical Boredom

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In this interview, philosopher R. J. Snell draws from how Hanby uses the verb “noughting” to interpret boredom, and connects it with the capital vice of acedia—or its token symptom, sloth—to help us recognize how this particular vice captures the “mood of our age.” Snell argues that the metaphysical boredom of modernity is sustained by our deeply-held convictions about freedom and contingency, which view the former as necessary and the latter as offensive. Like a sulking child, the slothful prefer to choose nothing rather than accept the neediness and dependency implied by our finite existence. When this slothful posture expands to the metaphysical plane, boredom becomes the very denial of being itself or, in other words, the “noughting” of the world. 48 minutes. $6.

MARS HILL AUDIO Journal

Volume 106

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Guests on Volume 106: Adam Briggle, on how Leon Kass's leadership of the President's Council on Bioethics attempted to reframe public thinking about ethical matters; John C. Médaille, on why economics should be concerned with ethical matters from the bottom up; Christopher Page, on how the presence of choral music in the Church shaped the rise of the West; Christian Smith, on why sociologists need a richer understanding of human nature and human personhood and should recognize "love" as an essential human attribute; Herman Daly, on why he and Wendell Berry are disturbed by the lack of attention paid by classical economics to the realities of the material world; and Thomas Hibbs, on the dark nihilism in the films of Woody Allen.

MARS HILL AUDIO Journal

Volume 44

Guests on Volume 44: James Davison Hunter, on the limits of the psychological view of character; Brian Robertson, on the changes in attitudes toward work and home; David Myers, on the disjunction of wealth and happiness, and crafting a "new American dream"; Robert Frank, on the escalation of luxury and how it can be slowed; Gayle Brandow Samuels, on trees, landscape, and cultural identity; Thomas Hine, on The Rise and Fall of the American Teenager; Thomas Hibbs, on Seinfeld, Hannibal Lecter, and nihilism in popular culture; and Robin Leaver, on how J. S. Bach used musical forms to impart theological truths.

MARS HILL AUDIO Journal

Volume 16

Guests on Volume 16: Philip Cushman, on the cultural history of psychotherapy in America; R. Laurence Moore, on religious disestablishment and the growth imperative; Keith J. Pavlischek, on the shrinking foundations supporting religious liberty; Dean M. Kelley, on the government's deadly interpretation of the Branch Davidian religion; Alan Jacobs, on the storytelling powers of neurologist Oliver Sacks; Kathleen Murphy, on Ingmar Bergman's films and the lack of seriousness in contemporary film; Michael Allen Gillespie, on the medieval (and theological) sources of nihilism; Robert Wilken, on similarities between the early Church's culture and our own; and Francis Crociata, on the music of American composer Leo Sowerby.